Joe's Morning Sports-Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The unranked Miami Hurricanes coughed up a 16-point, second-half lead last night before ending North Carolina's six-game winning streak.  Ja'Quan Newton drained a running 30-footer at the horn to give the Hurricanes a 91-88 victory over the ninth-ranked Tar Heels.  Newton's game-winner came 4.1 seconds after Joel Berry II nailed a game-tying three-pointer, but Miami pushed the ball upcourt for Newton's shot over Berry.  Chris Lykes scored a team-high 18 points for Miami, while Berry matched his career high with 31 points.

Marcus Foster had 20 points to lead three players in double figures and Creighton ran away from DePaul in the second half for an 82-57 victory last night to clinch a top-six seed in the Big East Conference Tournament.  Foster was 3-7 from three-point range and now has 300 career treys.  Khyri Thomas finished with 16 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, and five steals in the win.  Max Strus led three players in double figures for the Blue Demons with 14 points, seven boards, and six assists.  The Bluejays, who led 43-33 at the break, opened the second half on a 17-7 run to open the gap to 60-40 at the 13:25 mark and pushed its advantage to 75-51 with 3:52 remaining.  Creighton will conclude the regular season at Marquette on Saturday before playing in the tournament quarterfinal on March 8.  The Bluejays are now 21-9 overall and 10-7 in the BIG EAST while DePaul drops to 11-18 overall and 4-13 in the conference.

Eric Crouch, the 2001 Heisman Trophy winner at Nebraska, has been hired as an assistant football coach at Midland University.  Midland announced today that Crouch will coach running backs and special teams.  The 1,400-student school is coached by Jeff Jamrog, a former Nebraska player who was the Cornhuskers' defensive line coach when Crouch was a player.  The 39-year-old Crouch was quarterback for the Huskers in the 2001 national championship game, and the St. Louis Rams drafted him in the third round in 2002 as a receiver.  Crouch never played an NFL regular-season game.  He lives in Omaha and has worked in sales of medical and recreation equipment.

A softball player from Omaha Burke has signed a letter of intent to play for the Northeast Hawks this fall.  Sydney Kelley played third base and catcher for the Bulldogs, where she hit for a .350 average and also served as team captain.  Northeast starts their season on Thursday when they visit Southeast Community College.

The Lincoln Journal Star posted the Boys State Basketball Tournament bracket for Classes ‘D-1’ & ‘D-2’.  Regarding area teams, on Thursday, March 8, in games at Lincoln Northeast High School, in Class ‘D-1’, West Holt meets Johnson/Brock at 10:45, Osmond battles Heartland at 2:00, and Fullerton meets Kenesaw at 3:45.  In Class ‘D-2’, Wynot plays Riverside at Lincoln Northeast High School at 7:00.

Checking out the local schedule for today, in basketball, the Northeast Hawks men visit Ottumwa, Iowa to play Indian Hills in a Division I Region XI Semifinal game at 7:00 while the Northeast women host Marshalltown of Iowa in a Division I Region XI Semifinal contest at 5:00.

This week’s Spracklen Physical Therapy Star Athlete of the Week goes to Jessie Sullivan of the Boone Central/Newman Grove boys’ basketball team.  Last Thursday, in a 62-52 sub-district final win over Broken Bow, he had 27 points on 12-15 shooting with eleven rebounds.  In a 63-62 district final win over Winnebago on Monday to send the Cardinals to the State Tournament, Sullivan had 19 points on 7-13 shooting with twelve boards, and five steals.  He was nominated by Coach Justin Harris.  Congratulations to Jessie Sullivan of the Boone Central/Newman Grove boys basketball team, he is this week’s Spracklen Physical Therapy Star Athlete of the Week.

Local Schedule:  NECC at Indian Hills CC at Ottumwa, IA (MBB Div. I Region XI Semifinal-7:00); Marshalltown CC at NECC (WBB Div. I Region XI Semifinal-5:00).

Thursday:  The Girls State Basketball Tournament gets underway in Lincoln.  In games that can be heard on Lite Rock 97.5 & KEXL.com, Pierce meets Mitchell in the Class ‘C-1’ bracket at 1:40 and Stanton battles Burwell in the ‘C-2’ bracket at 8:30.  In games that can be heard on 106 KIX & 106KIX.com, Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family takes on North Central at 10:25 and Humphrey St. Francis goes head to head with Riverside at 8:25.

Boys High School BB Class ‘D-1’ & ‘D-2’ District Finals:  Nebraska City Lourdes 65 Walthill 54; Osmond 70 North Central 50; Fullerton 74 Heartland 64 (D-1); Wynot 55 Humphrey St. Francis 45; Riverside 63 Chambers/Wheeler Central 53 (D-2).

Spracklen Physical Therapy Star Athlete of the Week:  Jessie Sullivan of the Boone Central/Newman Grove boys’ basketball team.

CBS Sports Radio at 105.9 WJAG-FM & 780 AM Mon-Fri at 6:00 PM; Sat at 4:00; & Sun at 1:00.

      NBA

      Final    Cleveland            129    Brooklyn            123

      Final    Charlotte            118    Chicago              103

      Final    Miami                    102    Philadelphia    101

      Final    Washington          107    Milwaukee          104

      Final    Portland              116    Sacramento          99

      Final    L.A.  Clippers    122    Denver                120

    

    

          ---

          NATIONAL  HOCKEY  LEAGUE

    

      Final    Washington      3    Ottawa              2

      Final    New  Jersey      3    Pittsburgh      2

      Final  OT    Boston              4    Carolina          3

      Final  OT    Florida            3    Toronto            2

      Final    Nashville        6    Winnipeg          5

      Final    Minnesota        8    St.  Louis        3

      Final    Dallas              2    Calgary            0

      Final    San  Jose          5    Edmonton          2

      Final    L.A.  Kings      4    Vegas                1

    

          ---

          TOP-25  COLLEGE  BASKETBALL

    

      Final    Miami                        91    (9)  North  Carolina      88

      Final    Arkansas                  91    (14)  Auburn                    82

      Final    (16)  Tennessee      76    Mississippi  St.            54

      Final    Saint  Joseph's      78    (17)  Rhode  Island        48

In other news

The Houston Astros lead the American League Championship Series 3-1, putting the 2017 World Series winners on the brink of a showdown with the National League champion Washington Nationals.  The Astros beat the New York Yankees 8-3 last night in Game Four.  The Yankees are at risk of failing…